Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jillians Gift

My 10 year old daughter, Jill, and I have committed to play a musical duet in her School "Talent Show" tomorrow night. She plays Clarinet and I play Bass, and we've been rehearsing every other night for 2 weeks.

So there we are trying to nail this piece tonight and during a rest she volunteers the following:

J - I know why you have me doing this...(she means playing the Clarinet in general)

D - why Jill?

J - Because you want me to be a musician like you (smiling)

D - Your right...do you know why?...because making music can be life changing...

J - Yeah...it makes it like, easy to express, like, feelings and stuff

D - you are "getting it" aren't you?

J - (She interrupts excitedly) I know I know ! Dad...sometimes when you play certain kinds of music...and I hear certain sounds...I feel like I can do the impossible...like I can do Anything!

I then told Jill she has the "Gift" with the following true story:

When I was in 7th grade my Dad told me (not asked) that I should try out for the Marching band in Junior High School. Intimidated, I reluctantly selected the Trombone and began playing 2 hours a day. See...my Dad was at one time in his life a working Jazz musician. He played in the 40's after WWII in Chicago and NY City in the trumpet section of the Big Bands. Among the horn sections of the Dorsey Brothers and Woody Herman. After 5 years of that he had to "get a real job" when he married my Mom, he said, and never picked up the horn again. But he filled my childhood household with music and exposed me to the entire range of Classical, Jazz, Opera, Blues and popular music growing up. One day when I was 10 or 11, he took me to a Big Band concert, just me and him. It was in the basement lounge of a Hotel here locally in 1970. We stood for 2 hours against the back concrete wall of this lounge while Count Basie and his Orchestra pounded us with Jazz, Bop and Swing. I was penetrated by a flood of sensations I had never before experienced. I asked my Dad on the way home, "is it normal to have goosebumps from the music, I could feel it all over me?"

He replied...you have the Gift, son.

About a 3 years later I ran in from school after a Marching Band rehearsal and told him...

"Its E flat minor Dad! That goose bump chord is E flat minor...does it to me every time!"

He just smiled.

Imagine what it feels like to have the same thing happen to my daughter and me some 38 years later.

whew.